Majority-Minority Relations / Edition 6

Majority-Minority Relations / Edition 6

by John E. Farley
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Prentice Hall


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Majority-Minority Relations / Edition 6

This topically organized text is designed to develop students' understanding of the principles and processes that shape the patterns of relations between racial, ethnic, and other groups in society. Organized by topic, this book provides a more integrated look at the social forces that affect different racial groups.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780205645374
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Publication date: 07/29/2009
Series: MySocKit Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 600
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John E. Farley is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where for nearly thirty years he taught a wide range of courses, including many years of teaching the race and ethnic relations course. He conducted his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University, where he received a B.A. in political science. He continued his studies at the University of Michigan, where he received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in sociology, as well as the master of urban planning degree.

He is also the author of Sociology, Fifth Edition (Prentice Hall, 2003). He is an active researcher in urban sociology and race and ethnic relations, and his articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Social Science Research, the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Urban Affairs Review, The Sociological Quarterly, Contexts, and a number of other journals. He also regularly presents the results of his research at professional meetings, and has addressed such meetings in Canada, Sweden and Germany as well as throughout the United States. He headed a research team studying public response to Iben Browning’s prediction of an earthquake in the Midwest in 1990, and he was editor of a special issue of the nternational Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters on that topic. His book, Earthquake Fears, Predictions, and Preparations in Mid-America, which reports the results of the three-year study, was published by Southern Illinois University Press in 1998. Dr. Farley has conducted research on racial housing segregation based on each U.S. census from 1980 through 2000. He has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and SIUE’s Graduate School and Institute for Urban Research.

Professor Farley has received a number of awards for his work, including the SIUE Outstanding Scholar Award for his research on race relations and racial housing segregation, the SIUE Kimmell Community Service Award for his efforts in creating a fair housing organization in the St. Louis metropolitan area, and SIUE’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., University Humanitarian Award for his efforts in the community. He has served as president of the SIUE Faculty Senate, the Illinois Sociological Association, the Midwest Sociological Society, and the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council, which presented him with its Open Doors Award in 2008 for his work promoting fair housing. Dr. Farley enjoys fishing, snow skiing, travel, and nature and weather photography, especially when sharing these activities with his wife, Alice and his daughter, Megan. In 2004, he became a grandfather, and now has two grandchildren.

Read an Excerpt


This book is designed to enable the reader to understand the principles and processes that shape the patterns of relations among racial, ethnic, and other groups in society. It is not a study of any one racial or ethnic group, although a wide variety of information is provided about a number of groups. Rather, it is intended to enhance the reader's understanding of why such groups interact as they do. The primary emphasis is on the relationships between dominant (majority) and subordinate (minority) racial and ethnic groups in the United States. However, because a thorough understanding of the dynamics of intergroup relations cannot be obtained by looking at only one country, a full chapter is devoted to intergroup relations in other societies. There is also discussion, particularly in Chapter 13, of minority groups other than racial and ethnic ones.

The book is divided into four major parts. In Part I (Chapters 2 and 3) the attitudes and beliefs of the individual concerning intergroup relations are explored through a variety of social-psychological approaches. The concept of prejudice is examined, as well as various theories about its causes, ways in which it may be combated, and the relationship between intergroup attitudes and intergroup behavior. In Part II (Chapters 4 through 8) the emphasis shifts to the larger societal arena. Two major sociological perspectives, order and conflict, are introduced here. These perspectives, and more specific kinds of theories arising from them; are used throughout the book to understand intergroup relations in society. In the balance of Part II, the history of U.S. majority-minority relations is explored andanalyzed using the two perspectives, and the theories arising from them are tested and refined. Also introduced here are the concepts of assimilation and pluralism and their roles in the history of American intergroup relations. The theories are further refined through the examination of cross-cultural variations in intergroup relations in the closing chapter of Part II.

The major concern in Part III (Chapters 9 through 12) is present-day intergroup relations in the United States. This part begins with a compilation of data concerning the numbers, characteristics, and social statuses of a wide range of American racial and ethnic groups. The remainder of Part III is an extensive discussion of institutional discrimination, which has become at least as important as individual discrimination in the maintenance of racial and ethnic inequality in America. That fact, however, was not reflected in many of the general works on intergroup relations available when I first wrote this book, and still often receives insufficient attention. This book attempts to remedy that deficiency through extensive discussion of processes that create or maintain such inequality in political, legal, economic, health-care, and educational institutions. All of these areas, as well as housing discrimination and its causes and effects, are analyzed in Chapters 9-12. The purpose of this coverage is not to deny the reality of individual discrimination; in fact the book addresses many ways in which this continues to occur, even today, at the beginning of a new century. Rather, the purpose is to help students understand the reality of institutional forms of discrimination, which are often more subtle and harder to see than individual acts of discrimination.

Part IV explores key issues, trends, and controversies in the present and future of intergroup relations. Chapter 13 addresses majority-minority relations based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability, with special attention to the ways in which racial and gender inequality interact and overlap, thus presenting special concerns and dilemmas for women and men of color. Chapter 14 addresses current trends in majority-minority relations, including diversity and multiculturalism in work and education; the continuing problem of hate group activity and hate crime; debates about how to combat hatred, including issues centering around speech codes and "political correctness"; and the discrimination-testing movement. Chapter 15 explores selected issues in the future of race and ethnic relations in the United States, including the continuing controversy over affirmative action; debates over the desirability of assimilation, pluralism, and separatism; the relative importance of race and class in American society; and the current and future immigration policy of the United States.

To enhance the reader's awareness of essential concepts used throughout the book, important new terms are defined in a glossary at the end of the book. Major ideas throughout the book have been illustrated photographically, and the substantial list of references has been grouped together at the end of this book so any reference can be easily located. For the instructor, a test item file is also available. CHANGES IN THE FIFTH EDITION

For the most part, the basic approach and organization of this book has been retained through all five editions. Indeed, academic reviewers for this newest edition were unanimous in requesting this. However, the content has been revised and updated extensively with each edition, with substantial new material added to every chapter for this fifth edition. For the fifth edition, the book has been updated in the following important ways:

  1. Data have been updated throughout the book, including extensive incorporation of data from the 2000 census throughout the book.
  2. There is extensive updated coverage throughout the book both of current events in majority-minority relations and of new social-scientific research, theory, and writings on majority-minority relations. These updates, as well as those of data noted above, have resulted in the addition of more than 400 new references in the fifth edition, the great majority of them since 2000.
  3. The discussion of affirmative action has been rewritten and completely updated to reflect the 2003 Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action arising from the University of Michigan cases (Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger). This discussion appears in Chapter 15, but other parts of the book have also been updated to reflect these cases.
  4. There is extensive exploration in several chapters of the impact of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the societal response to them on intergroup relations, including expanded coverage of issues relating to Arab and Muslim Americans (and the difference between the two).
  5. Portions of the education chapter (Chapter 12) have been extensively rewritten to reflect the recent trend toward re-segregation of schools and the reasons for it, the effects of the No Child Left Behind Act, and other important issues.
  6. The impacts of welfare reform are discussed extensively, especially in Chapter 11. Also found in Chapter 11 is discussion of evidence of racial discrimination in voting in the 2000 presidential election, and an expanded discussion of the racial consequences (and, likely, motivation) of the "war on drugs."
  7. There is expanded coverage in several chapters of recent sociological work on whiteness and the denial of race and racial privilege by whites, as well as discussion of ways in which colorblindness may actually perpetuate racism.
  8. Expanded coverage has been added concerning the cumulative costs of racism to minorities over U.S. history, and the related issue of reparations for racism.

Table of Contents


1 Orientation: Basic Terms and Concepts

Part I Social-Psychology and Social Structure as Ways of Understanding Majority-Minority Relations

2 Prejudice: Its Forms and Causes

3 Reducing Prejudice: How Achievable? How Important?

4 Macro-Sociological Perspectives: The Order and Conflict Models

Part II The Historical Roots of Today’s Intergroup Inequality and Majority-Minority Relations

5 Origins and Causes of Ethnic Inequality

6 Changing Patterns of Majority-Minority Relations in the United States

7 Minority Group Movements and Their Impact on Society

8 Changing Values, Goals, and Models: New Thinking on Assimilation, Pluralism, and Separatism

9 Cross-Cultural Studies of Majority-Minority Relations

Part III Majority-Minority Relations in America Today: The Role of Institutional Discrimination

10 The Status of Majority and Minority Groups in the United States Today

11 The Economic and Health Care Systems and Minority Groups in America

12 Living Apart: Housing Segregation in America

13 The American Political and Legal System and Majority-Minority Relations

14 Education and American Minority Groups

Part IV Current and Future Issues in Majority-Minority Relations

15 Current Trends in Majority-Minority Relations

16 Current Debates: Affirmative Action, Immigration, and Race Versus Class

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